New Administrative Capital (NAC)
|Metropolitan area||Cairo Governorate|
|• City centre||5.6 km2 (2.2 sq mi)|
|• Urban||714 km2 (276 sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (EST)|
The New Administrative Capital (NAC) (Arabic: العاصمة الإدارية الجديدة) is a large-scale project in Egypt that has been under construction since 2015. It was announced by then-Egyptian housing minister Moustafa Madbouly at the Egypt Economic Development Conference on 13 March 2015. The city will reportedly be named Wedian, the Egyptian Arabic plural for "Wadi".
The new city is to be located 45 kilometers (28 miles) east of Cairo and just outside the Second Greater Cairo Ring Road, in a currently largely undeveloped area halfway to the seaport city of Suez. According to the plans, the city will become the new administrative and financial capital of Egypt, housing the main government departments and ministries, as well as foreign embassies. On 700 square kilometres (270 sq mi) total area, it would have a population of 6.5 million people, though it is estimated that the figure could rise to seven million.
Officially, a major reason for the undertaking of the project was to relieve congestion in Cairo, which is already one of the world's most crowded cities, with the population of Greater Cairo expected to double in the next few decades. Cairo, for comparison, has a population of nearly 20 million.
The city is planned to consist of 21 residential districts and 25 "dedicated districts". Its downtown is to have skyscrapers and a tall monument said to resemble the Eiffel Tower and Washington Monument. The city will also have a park double the size of New York City's Central Park, artificial lakes, about 2,000 educational institutions, a technology and innovation park, 663 hospitals and clinics, 1,250 mosques and churches, 40,000 hotel rooms, a major theme park four times the size of Disneyland, 90 square kilometers of solar energy farms, an electric railway link with Cairo and a new international airport at the site of the Egyptian Air Force's existing Wadi al Jandali Airport. It will be built as a smart city. It is planned that the transfer of parliament, presidential palaces, government ministries and foreign embassies will be completed between 2020 and 2022, at a cost of US $45 billion. A full cost and timescale for the overall project has not been disclosed.
Feedback on former experiences of capital relocation was looked at, for instance by meeting with representatives from Nur-Sultan (then Astana), which replaced Almaty as the capital city of Kazakhstan in 1997.
The first government officials were expected to move into their new offices in 2019.
Speaking prior to the official announcement, Egypt's investment minister Ashraf Salman had already mentioned the possibility of a new capital being "developed, master-planned and executed by a private sector company", at no cost to the Egyptian treasury. It was revealed that the city will be built by Capital City Partners, a private real estate investment firm led by Emirati businessman Mohamed Alabbar.
When the project was officially announced in March 2015, it was revealed that the Egyptian military had already begun building a road from Cairo to the site of the future capital.
In September 2015, Egypt cancelled the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed with the UAE's Mohamed Alabbar during the March economic summit, since they did not make any progress with the proposed plans. In the same month Egypt signed a new MoU with China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) to "study building and financing" the administrative part of the new capital, which will include ministries, government agencies and the president’s office. CSCEC signed agreements with Egyptian authorities in early 2016 and in 2017 and 2018 to develop parts of the project. Egyptian construction company Arab Contractors (in Arabic El-Mokawloon El-Arab) was called for constructing the water supply and sewage lines to the new capital. The company stated that the studies needed were done in August[when?] and it is supposed that the project will take 3 months to supply the city with the main services needed in order to prepare it for the construction work.
In January 2019, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi inaugurated Egypt and Middle East's largest cathedral called "The Nativity of Christ" in the NAC and a mega-mosque called "Al-Fattah Al-Aleem Mosque" second only in size to Great Mosque of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Further parts of the city, including the diplomatic areas, were expected to be inaugurated in the fall of 2019.[needs update]